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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did my first oil change yesterday on my 2009 Aero at 3200 miles. A lot of bikes have drain plugs and oil filters that are really on tight and hard to get off. Mine were, so I got the idea of loosening them a small bit when they are cold.

Of course metal expands when hot and shrink when cold. It was easier to loosen them when cold. I loosened them a bit but not to much that they would leak. Then warmed the engine for five minutes. Afetr that everything went smooth.

BTW..If your Shadow needs a new drain plug and washer the part numbers are:
92800-14000
94109-14000

Went with Rotella T6.
 

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99' Valkyrie/North Central Indiana
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Drain plug? Lost or? :???: Washers are readily available in copper that doesn't fail like aluminium ones. Advance Auto has them.
 

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Wait, youve had your bike for 5 years and just now changed the oil? Why did you do it while warm? You shouldnt.
 

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steelpix, the only tool you should use to tighten the oil filter is your hand .... because *you always have that tool with you,* and that almost eliminates the possibility of overtightening. Just be sure to oil the rubber gasket, then ½-¼ turn after hand tightened, after seated.

I personally don't think loosening the drain bolt to compensate for temperature changes is a sound idea otherwise all the other bolts on the engine would require this and remember the engine vibrates, a lot. People generally don't use a torque wrench on the drain bolt, but they do inspect it for leaks a day later than a week later, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Furball,
Let me clearify. I've been lurking looking at Shadows for several months on Craigslist. I finally bought one on Saturday in perfect shape. To play it safe, I like to change the oil on my used bikes so that I know it was done and when.

FYI...I transitioned from a Harley xl883c. Loved my HD and it's in perfect shape, but the Honda fits my style and needs better. All's I can say is SMOOTH.
 

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The plug is usually steel, the engine case cast aluminum. I think aluminum expands more than steel. Also, if you take the same material and a measure a pin and hole of same diameter, the hole usually expands more than the pin. Both those factors would seem to indicate that the bolt would be easier to remove when the engine is hot.

Why NOT change the oil when warm? That's the way I always do it, usually right after a good ride at highway speeds. I do this to ensure the dirt is fully mixed with the old oil rather than settled at the bottom of the "pan" and left behind. The hot oil will all drain down quickly, but I usually let it sit for an hour to get the last drop out, and let things cool down before the fill and retork the drain plug.

Copper washer ;) I think aluminum can fail due to plastic flow metal fatigue? Or they just get galled and leak...?
 

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Wait, youve had your bike for 5 years and just now changed the oil? Why did you do it while warm? You shouldnt.
why would you want to do it cold??? any sediment in the oil is separated out, which is then left in oil passages and the pan, and it doesnt flow as well.


Heck I usually change the oil after a small ride, oil is hot, let the bike (or my truck) sit for an hour or so, so the oil has time to cool enougu to prevent burning of the skin and drain back out of the top end. Then let it all drain into a pan while I replace the oil filter, then check other fluids, then put in the plug and refill. Of course pre-filling the oil filter when applicable.
 

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Of course metal expands when hot and shrink when cold. It was easier to loosen them when cold.
I'm not sure if that's right......

If the crankcase expands faster than the drain plug, then the plug would be easier to remove when hot. On the other hand, if the drain plug expands faster than the crankcase, then it would be more difficult to remove when hot.

If both expand at the same rate, removing the drain plug would be the same whether hot or cold.

To be honest, this is the first time I've ever heard that loosening a drain plug cold is easier than when warm.

Phil
 

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Did my first oil change yesterday on my 2009 Aero at 3200 miles. A lot of bikes have drain plugs and oil filters that are really on tight and hard to get off. Mine were, so I got the idea of loosening them a small bit when they are cold.

Of course metal expands when hot and shrink when cold. It was easier to loosen them when cold. I loosened them a bit but not to much that they would leak. Then warmed the engine for five minutes. Afetr that everything went smooth.
By your post I'm guessing that you're Aero had 3200 original miles on it when you did the oil change after purchasing it. Hopefully the original owner had the oil and filter changed per the break in schedule and was done by the dealer. That would explain why the drain plug and filter were hard to loosen. They tend to over tighten at the shop just like those oil change shops do when you bring in your car. Now that you've changed the oil and filter and didn't over torque the drain pan bolt and filter you should have no problem at your next oil change with the engine at temp.
 

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The plug is usually steel, the engine case cast aluminum. I think aluminum expands more than steel. Also, if you take the same material and a measure a pin and hole of same diameter, the hole usually expands more than the pin. Both those factors would seem to indicate that the bolt would be easier to remove when the engine is hot.
This, exactly.

When heated at the same rate, aluminum expands more/faster than steel. All things being equal, it will always be easier to remove the drain plug when the engine is hot.

You can violate many laws, but not the laws of physics...
 

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Why does aluminum fail?
Aluminium is fine as long as you replace it each change. Copper can be reused w/o failure. When I 1st got the Valk I noticed a slight drip from the oil plug @ 11.000 mi. When spring came I changed the oil and the aluminum washer had been overtightened and split causing the drip thus this is why I use copper washers exclusively after 1st. oil change on all my bikes.
 

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Aluminium is fine as long as you replace it each change. Copper can be reused w/o failure. When I 1st got the Valk I noticed a slight drip from the oil plug @ 11.000 mi. When spring came I changed the oil and the aluminum washer had been overtightened and split causing the drip thus this is why I use copper washers exclusively after 1st. oil change on all my bikes.
My aluminum washer, on drain plug, is 28 years old. Looks as good the day I bought bike new. No cracks or leaks! Sounds like, to me, drain plugs are over tighten.

I use to change my oil when hot, but past 10 or so years I do it cold. I see no difference when looking inside of crank case through oil filler hole with flash light or using small finger and feeling just inside bottom of crank case to see if it is dirty. Always looked clean. Maybe because I only put little over 1K miles a year & change it every fall. I use Golden Spectro 20W50 oil year round. Tried the 10W40, but bike likes the heavier oil much better.

I also use non ethanol top tier premium gas. Bike hates ethanol & regular gas! It will run on it, but gas mileage drops over 10 miles per gal & there will be slight hesitation on acceleration.

Reed
 

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Aluminum and aluminium corrodes a lot when exposed to air, copper brass and bronze not so much, there is not much of the drainplug washer exposed to air so it is not really enough of an issue to worry about, if you can get a new washer everytime you change the oil, that is a good thing but if for some reason you can't get a new washer then it's better to use the old one than not to use one at all.

John.
 
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